The journal Cancer Cell ranks the article on colon cancer metastasis by Eduard Batlle and Elena Sancho among the best 10 in 2012.
The article “Dependency of Colorectal Cancer on a TGF-beta-Driven Program in Stromal Cells for Metastasis Initiation”, published in Cancer Cell in November 2012, has been chosen by the journal as one of the best studies of the year, "Best 2012". With an impact factor of 26.57, Cancer Cell ranks as one of the main journals devoted to cancer research.
The discovery: tumour stem cells damage healthy cells in the microenvironment
A team of 17 researchers, led by scientists Eduard Batlle and Elena Sancho from the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory, determined that the ability of colon cancer to metastasize is conferred by the healthy cells that surround the tumour. Although the role of the tumour microenvironment had been hypothesized to be complicit in this process, the study elegantly shows for the first time a specific mechanism through which colorectal cancer cells corrupt the healthy microenvironment to assist them during metastasis initiation.
The discovery could translate into direct benefits for patients. In five years a test based on their results may be available to predict relapse, thus allowing doctors to target treatment according to prognosis. Supported by a two-year funding of 500,000 euros from the Botín Foundation, Eduard Batlle and Elena Sancho are taking the first steps to set up a biotech spin- off, with the aim to commercialise the test.